LessThan3: On your Wikipedia page it lists synthpop, progressive house, electronic, and electro house as genres you produce. Walk us through some of your influences and how they took you to where you are today.
I originally came from an indie background. I used to sing in bands, and it definitely was all about guitars in songs for me when I was growing up. Then I discovered Fatboy Slim
, Alex Gopher, and the French house stuff that was going on in the late ’90s like Daft Punk
and their labels Crydamoure and Roulé. When I heard those records, it kind of blew my mind. I realized dance music could be as exciting and dynamic as rock music. It wasn’t just this one thing that looped over for half an hour, which was what I always had the impression it was.
LessThan3: What artist would you consider to have been the biggest influence on you as your career has grown?
I think it’s always been the bands I grew up listening to that have been there in the background of my mind as the main sort of inspiration. I think that the classic bands like Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers
, Fatboy, and even indie bands like The Verve, Primal Scream, and Oasis
are those seminal bands that shaped my musical landscape as a kid. Somebody like the Chems, their records always sound amazing to me. What they’ve managed to achieve by just doing their thing is insane.
LessThan3: How do you approach putting together a set for a festival vs. a smaller, more intimate show?
Alex: I never plan what I’m going to play, but I definitely have an idea of what things might work better at a festival or in a club. In a club you have the ability to be take people on a bit more of a journey while at a festival nine times out of ten people want it to be more immediate. That’s not always the case though. It’s about being prepared to take it whichever way it needs to be taken at the time.
LessThan3: Who would be your dream collaborator?
Alex: Jacques Lu Cont
, which I already did. He was always my #1 person I wanted to make a record with. I still would love to do a record with Richard Ashcroft from The Verve or Noel Gallagher, some singers that I grew up loving. I’d f*cking love to do a record with Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow
as well. It’s mainly singers now. There are not a lot of producers that I dream of working with. My dream collaboration is now with other people who can do sh*t that I can’t.
LessThan3: What’s a bootleg that you always wanted to make, but you can’t find quality samples of yet?
Alex: There is a bootleg I’ve wanted to make for a while, and I started it on this tour: Primal Scream’s Loaded. One of the most successful bootlegs I ever did was the Beastie Boys one, and I don’t think I had the parts for it. I just used the audio file off the CD. If you’re creative enough you can bootleg anything you want to these days; you just need an idea of what you want to do.
LessThan3: What do you have in store for your fans in 2014?
The next single looks like it’s going to be a collaboration with U-Tern from Oliver
. The track is called Hope
, and it’s been going down super well in all of my DJ sets recently. I’m getting a lot of emails and messages on Twitter saying, “What’s that tune?” That’s coming out on OWSLA. Yuksek
and I have a new project together that we don’t actually have a name for yet. We’ve got our first single as this new artist name that’s going to come out in March–it’s called Don’t Miss
. After that will be another Alex Metric single around summertime.
LessThan3: What is something your fans would be surprised to know about you?
Alex: I bet a lot of the fans, especially new ones in America, don’t know that I used to sing on most of my records. They would probably be surprised if I was singing. I’m going to start doing that again soon. I always used to sing in bands when I was kid, and then I didn’t for years when I started producing. Around 2007 or so, I did a whole album with me singing on it. I put out like three singles off of it, but I never released the album. I suddenly got to the point where I didn’t want to sing again. It kind of comes and goes in waves for me. Sometimes I feel like I have something to say, songs to write, and things I want to get across. Then I can go for a while and not actually know what I want to say and what I want to do lyrically. I’m sort of coming back around, though. I don’t want to sing a load of f*cking words that don’t mean anything just for the sake of it. If I write a song, it has to mean something to me and has to be about something that’s happening to me.
LessThan3: What artist has been the most fun to tour with?
Alex: I’d say the best tour I’ve done so far has been the Moment of Clarity Tour with Zedd and Oliver. Being on a bus with my friends traveling around America was amazing. It was such a good crew of people–Anton’s team was awesome.
LessThan3: If you could pick any three DJs to also tour with, who would they be? Why?
It would have to be someone whose music I like and someone I am good friends with as well because if you don’t get along it will be hell. I would also be pretty stoked to put someone massive at the top of the lineup just so I could watch them play every night. I would then maybe put a buddy underneath me. Let’s go for the Chemical Brothers headlining every night. I’ll play before them. Then we’d have somebody else I’d really like to see, maybe someone quite disco-ey to open up the night. F*cking James Murphy
, that’s it! James Murphy would open up so I could listen to his set every night. I’ll play between him and the Chems, and then the Chems would close. That would be a pretty good tour.